Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Ajay Singh
  • Arun Bhardwaj
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_4525-7



It is a group of enzymes that catalyzes the hydrolysis of phosphoric acid monoesters into a phosphate ion and a molecule containing free hydroxyl group. This action is directly opposite to that of a kinase (attaches phosphate groups to their substrates by using energetic molecules like ATP or GTP).


Phosphatases are broadly characterized/classified into two or more classes/subclasses based on their optimal pH condition or substrate type:

Classes Based on the Optimum pH Condition

  1. 1.

    Acid phosphatases: a group of phosphatases showing optimal activity at an acidic pH, i.e., pH <7 (usual range pH 3–pH 6). These phosphatases are generally found in the serum, liver, spleen, kidney, and prostate. An elevated serum level of various acid phosphatases is associated with various pathological conditions like Paget disease, Gaucher disease, Niemann-Pick disease, myelocytic leukemia, and metastatic prostate cancer.

  2. 2.

    Alkaline phosphatases...


Endometrial Cancer Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Protein Phosphatase Phosphate Group Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oncologic SciencesMitchell Cancer Institute, University of South AlabamaMobileUSA